Crop tops for summer 2021

In the music video for “Solar Power” – her first single in four years – Lorde frolics on a beach, surrounded by people dancing and dining and passing her a bong made from a fennel bulb.

She’s not the Lorde the world has come to know: a young artist dealing with her emotional wounds on critically acclaimed albums. But the world has seen enough darkness lately, and so has Ella Yelich-O’Connor.

While “Solar Power” captures that sentiment in its lyrics (“forget all the tears you’ve cried” and “let the happiness begin”), Lorde didn’t need it. Her ensemble choice said it all: a canary-yellow satin skirt with a matching crop top that hugged her lower bust.

The belly of the outfit is not subtle. There’s no resemblance to the casual crop tops of the past decade, or any earlier variations: 1940s swimwear, 1980s sports cuts, shrunken baby t-shirts from the 1940s. year 2000.

It’s a more extreme belly – the kind you’d expect from Hot Vax Summer.

“It quenches the thirst of younger consumers, catering to that festival style they’ve been missing,” said Marian Park, youth strategist at trend forecasting agency WGSN. (This year, Rent the Runway reported that demand for crop tops, extreme or not, quadrupled from 2019.)

Lorde’s outfit, which sold out and is now available for pre-order, was crafted from dead stock satin by Collina Strada, a brand known for its sustainable practices and bright earth-punk aesthetic. Her satin pieces in particular have drawn fans from celebrities like Rihanna and Lady Gaga.

The spring 2021 collection’s yellow ensemble — SZA also wore it on the cover of Cosmopolitan earlier this year — was the first time Hillary Taymour, creative director of Collina Strada, experimented with the underwire structure that made the crop top so severe.

“I wanted it to be sophisticated,” Ms. Taymour said. “It’s for a girl who wants to look sexy but also supported.”

Ms Park called the extreme crop top look “an exploration of sensuality for women, where it doesn’t feel so overtly sexy”. The style is an extension of wearable lingerie, which unexpectedly became popular at the start of the pandemic as a sort of lockdown indulgence. (People couldn’t dress to go out, but they could dress to stay indoors.)

More and more companies are incorporating high-end lingerie details into their crop top designs, Ms. Park pointed out, through form-fitting ties, French seams, bias binding and underwire – effectively transforming crop tops into bras. bras and fancy bras into crop tops. Labels leading this midriff moment include Jacquemus, Christopher Esber and Orseund Iris.

But no label is defined by the extreme crop top – or what Ms Park called the “Instagram street-style peacock moments” that are driving consumers right now – more than Mirror Palais, founded in 2019 by Marcelo Gaia, a 30-year-old man. designer and former stylist.

One of Mirror Palais’ first pieces was the eye-catching “underwire polo shirt”, a hybrid of a bra and a long-sleeved collared shirt.

When Mr. Gaia first presented the concept to his modeler, who didn’t get it, he said, “We had to work on it for a very long time before it actually fit.”

Then, when he featured it on Instagram, “People were like, ‘What the hell East that ?’ said Mr. Gaia. “It was a bit polarizing. Some people were just in love and so excited about it, and other people, I think, thought it was a bit vulgar.

The polo shirt has since been worn by Bella Hadid, who transformed the piece into what Page Six called “the hottest top of the summer,” along with Ariana Grande and Rosalía. It was also replicated by several fast fashion companies, much to Mr. Gaia’s frustration. (“I have very few regrets in my life, and my only regret is that I didn’t patent it,” he said.)

Mr Gaia speculated that people are drawn to extreme crop tops both because of advances in the body positivity movement – “the idea of: if you want to wear a crop top and you don’t don’t have a six-pack, go for it, your body still looks amazing,” he said – and the commotion that came from spending a year “in hiding”.

“I think it takes a certain confidence to wear something like that,” said Gaia, who is working on releasing a short-sleeved version. “But people are ready to have fun, party and party.”